Does Tapatio Go Bad? Shelf-Life Tips & Answers [2023]


Be honest. Are you one of those people who has a whole regiment of hot sauce in your cupboard? Yup, we thought so! When you have a lot of hot sauce on your shelves it can be easy to lose track of what is fresh and when a bottle of hot sauce has gone bad. Every hot sauce is different, so today, we will answer the most reader’s asked question: Does Tapatio go bad? Well, we were shocked to find out the answer! 

The official Tapatio website claims that their sauces have no set expiration date, which is impressive!

In this article, we will take a look at what good or bad Tapatio hot sauce looks like, in case of that day ever does come that your old bottle of Tapatio finally gives up the ghost!

We’ll also give you some tips for storage and answer some of your burning questions. So let’s dive into it.

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Does Tapatio Go Bad?

This hot sauce brand likes to brag that their hot sauce doesn’t have a set best before date.[*] That makes it a great hot sauce to have in your pantry, ready for any occasion.

Saying that, let’s just quickly compare what good and bad hot sauce looks like in case your Taptio has been on your shelf for a while.

Good Tapatio will be:

  • Bright in color: Tapatio fresh out of the bottle should be a deep, bright red. It should keep this color as you store it. Make sure you’re storing your Tapatio in a cool, dark cupboard away from sunlight to preserve the color.
  • Fresh, chili flavor: Every time you taste it, Tapatio should taste just as good as when you opened it. If you taste anything but pure chili flavor, your Tapatio might have finally gone off.

How to Tell If Tapatio Has Gone Bad?

When Tapatio has gone off, on the other hand, it will be:

Mold present

The most obvious sign is that your Tapatio has gone off.

  • It will start with little spots of white mold on the surface of the sauce.
  • It might also climb up the sides where the old sauce has dried.
  • If left too long, the mold will cover the sauce’s whole surface.

We suggest regularly removing the cap and checking that no mold is growing before you use it.

Dull and discolored

The second thing to look for in off Tapatio is discoloring.

The red of the sauce will begin to dull and fade to an off-brown color.

Less spicy and flavorful

Lastly, you can tell if Tapatio has gone bad from the taste.

  • If Tapatio is left too long, it will lose its peppery flavor.
  • It will also be less spicy than when it first opened.
  • It will also taste old and unpleasant.

You should discard it immediately if you experience this.

How Long Does Tapatio Last?

If stored out of the fridge, Tapatio has no definite use-by date.

However, the company recommends eating it within two years of opening to be at its best.

However, the company recommends eating it within two years of opening to be at its best. That’s why Tapatio has such a loyal fan base!

This makes Tapatio a great hot sauce to feature in your collection because it will always be ready to go on your shelf unless you’ve had it for a very long time.

Tip To Remember: As with most hot sauces, if stored right, they can last a few months past their sell-by date. Just be sure to keep an eye on it and check every time you use it.

Does Tapatio Need To Be Refrigerated?

No, there’s no need to store your Tapatio in the fridge.

If you choose to, it won’t affect the sauce in a negative way. In fact, it might have an unexpected benefit.

When it is left in a pantry over time the color will dull slightly because of the exposure to light and air. This doesn’t mean it has gone bad.

However, if you prefer your hot sauce to stay bright and fresh looking then you can pop it in the refrigerator right after opening.

Tips and Tricks to Store Your Tapatio and Check If It Is Fresh

1. Color

As we mentioned before, discoloring is not always a bad thing, but to be on the safe side it’s better to taste Tapatio which has changed color.

If it still tastes bright and fresh you are in the clear, anything less than that you probably want to throw it out.

2. Store in a dark place

Light and air can make your sauce go bad more quickly. The best way to avoid this is to store it in a cool, dark cupboard.

This will preserve the color, stop it from getting warm and prevent it from going off too quickly.

3. Keep the bottle clean

It’s very easy for a bottle of hot sauce to become messy from repeated use. This can cause of sauce to crust around the top of the bottle and dry out.

This can encourage mold to grow as well as make it harder to close the bottle. This will allow air to get inside and cause the sauce to spoil very quickly.

If you want the sauce to last longer, we suggest wiping off the top of the bottle after every use to stop this from happening.

4. Keep checking

Since it can last you years it’s a good idea to check it before you use it.

If you don’t regularly check you might cover your food in off-hot-sauce one day and completely spoil your meal!

You can easily prevent this by popping the cap off and looking in every time you use it to make sure there is no mold or separation happening.



So it looks like we have found one of those mythical sauces that lasts years in the fridge without going off!

Tapatio hot sauce has a distinctive acidic, peppery flavor that will live on your shelves for years.

We recommend that you should consume Tapatio within two years, but honestly, that will be easy because it tastes so good.

Buying a bottle of Tapatio means investing in years’ worth of deliciously spicy meals! So why not go buy yourself a bottle today?

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